JPH07232828A - Parts supply device - Google Patents

Parts supply device

Info

Publication number
JPH07232828A
JPH07232828A JP28662494A JP28662494A JPH07232828A JP H07232828 A JPH07232828 A JP H07232828A JP 28662494 A JP28662494 A JP 28662494A JP 28662494 A JP28662494 A JP 28662494A JP H07232828 A JPH07232828 A JP H07232828A
Authority
JP
Japan
Prior art keywords
tray
carrier
position
parts
empty
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
JP28662494A
Other languages
Japanese (ja)
Other versions
JP3344850B2 (en
Inventor
Akira Kamimura
Mitsuhiro Kondo
Hayato Suzuki
Akira Taruishi
昭 樽石
晃 神村
光弘 近藤
隼人 鈴木
Original Assignee
Ricoh Co Ltd
株式会社リコー
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to JP5-351416 priority Critical
Priority to JP35141693 priority
Application filed by Ricoh Co Ltd, 株式会社リコー filed Critical Ricoh Co Ltd
Priority to JP28662494A priority patent/JP3344850B2/en
Publication of JPH07232828A publication Critical patent/JPH07232828A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of JP3344850B2 publication Critical patent/JP3344850B2/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical Current

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23POTHER WORKING OF METAL; COMBINED OPERATIONS; UNIVERSAL MACHINE TOOLS
    • B23P19/00Machines for simply fitting together or separating metal parts or objects, or metal and non-metal parts, whether or not involving some deformation; Tools or devices therefor so far as not provided for in other classes
    • B23P19/001Article feeders for assembling machines

Abstract

PURPOSE:To simplify a mechanism and speed up a processing and also correspond to alteration of kinds of a part and fluctuation of number of the parts easily by mounting the circulation mechanism of a tray carrier between a part storing portion and an assembly robot. CONSTITUTION:Required trays t are separated from stock modules 81, 82 and 83 where the trays t including stored parts are piled up and they are pushed out toward an exit lifter. A exit lifter space 92 is moved downward by the exit lifter with one pushed out tray t hanging on it and the tray t is released and placed on a roller conveyer 60 mounted on the upper surface of a tray changer 4. The tray changer 4 places the tray t on a tray carrier by Pi and an assembly robot 3 moves it to a ejectable part supply position Ps in a following moving cycle. The tray carrier after supplying the part moves to a waiting position downward from the part supply position with the tray t mounted on it and it moves to a tray discharge position right under the tray placing position in the next moving cycle.

Description

Detailed Description of the Invention

[0001]

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an automatic assembling apparatus for automatically assembling mechanical parts, which is capable of automatically and continuously supplying a plurality of kinds of parts to an assembling robot for assembling work. Regarding the device.

[0002]

2. Description of the Related Art In an automatic assembling apparatus, a parts supplying apparatus for automatically supplying parts to an assembling robot quickly and without causing idle time is described in, for example, Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 1-40236, and FIG. The schematic operation will be described with reference to the conceptual diagram of FIG.

The tray t accommodates a plurality of types of components to be assembled to the object to be assembled 111 by the assembly robot 110 for each type of component, and a tray group in which a plurality of trays containing different types of components are stacked. Then, the unmanned vehicle 100 is transferred onto the buffer 101 by a conveyor.

The buffer 101 is provided with a separating mechanism 102 for separating trays containing necessary parts from a plurality of stacked trays, and the necessary trays and the trays (groups) above them are separated. The required tray is separated from other trays by lifting the tray (group) above the required tray while separating and lifting the tray below the tray.

The elevator 103 having a conveyor moves until the height of the separated tray and the height of the upper surface of the conveyor coincide with each other, and drives the tray separated by the separating mechanism 102 and pushed out. The elevator 103 moves up and down so that the height position of the received tray is the same as the stock position assigned to the received tray of the stocker 104, and then the conveyor is driven to move the tray. The stocker 10
Move to 4 assigned stock positions.

This stocker 104 moves up and down to supply the required parts to this robot by pushing out the tray at the stock position of the stocker 104 which is equal to the height of the supply table from which the robot 110 takes out parts. The robot 110 takes out a component from the tray on the supply table and mounts this component on the assembly target 111.

Then, the tray which has finished supplying the parts accommodated in the robot is returned from the supply table to the stock position to which the elevator 104 is assigned, and the elevator 104 accommodates the parts to be supplied next. The tray is moved so that it is at the height of the supply table, and this tray is moved to the supply table in the same manner as described above, and a plurality of types of parts are supplied to the robot.

The empty tray, in which all the accommodated parts have been taken out by the robot, is moved from the stock 104 to a position below the conveyor of the elevator 103,
After that, the elevator 103 moves downward and lowers the empty tray onto the empty tray (group) already placed on the conveyor 105 to perform stacking.

By driving the conveyor 105, the stacked empty tray groups are transferred onto an empty tray mounting table provided in the lower stage of the unmanned vehicle 100, and the unmanned vehicle, for example, an unmanned warehouse. Will be returned to.

In this conventional example, the buffer 10
In order to separate the trays containing the required parts in 1, the upper and lower trays must be separated. Therefore, the height of all the trays placed on this buffer and the kind of the contained parts The height of separation must be calculated and the height of separation must be calculated. Therefore, not only must a controller with advanced memory and calculation functions be used, but the structure and control of the separation mechanism must be complicated. .

This problem is caused by a great deal of labor for modifying the control program, especially when the number and types of parts used by the robot for assembly change, especially when the height of the housing box for housing the parts changes. The result is time and money.

Further, in order to push out or take out the trays, each containing different parts, to and from the supply table at a constant height position corresponding to the supply table, the stocker 104 is moved up and down. The tray must be movable, and the tray must be pulled out to the supply table, which complicates the structure of the stocker and makes it difficult to control.

In addition, when replacing the storage box as described above, the empty storage box is pulled out from the stocker and then the new storage box containing the parts is pushed in. The operations are alternating and opposite, which not only increases the time required to replace the container, but also complicates the structure and control.

[0014]

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a component supply device which simplifies the mechanism and speeds up the processing, and can easily cope with a change in the type of a component and an increase or decrease in the number of components. The purpose is to

[0015]

As shown in the principle diagram of FIG. 1, in a component supply device, a tray t containing components is accommodated.
And a tray S from which the tray t is stored.
Transporting means H for transporting the tray, a tray mounting position Pi for receiving the tray t transported by the transporting means H, a component supply position Ps and a tray where the assembly robot R can take out the components stored in the tray t. A circulation mechanism TC for circulatingly moving the tray carrier C on which the tray t is placed is provided via a circulation path L including at least a tray discharge position Po for discharging t.

The circulating mechanism TC is provided with a plurality of tray carriers C 1, C 2, C 3, ... Which move at the same time, and these plurality of tray carriers are at least the tray mounting positions.
It can be configured to cyclically move through Pi, the component supply position Ps, and the tray discharge position Po.

When the circulation mechanism TC having a plurality of tray carriers C 1, C 2, C 3, ... Is used, when one tray carrier is in the tray mounting position Pi, at least the component supply position Ps and The tray carriers C 1, C 2, C 3, ... Can be provided at fixed intervals so that the other tray carriers are located at the tray discharge position Po.

[0018]

FIG. 1 is a conceptual diagram showing the basic configuration of the circulation mechanism TC in the component supply apparatus constructed according to the present invention. The basic operation of the circulation mechanism TC is assembled by the assembly robot R. The tray t containing the components to be assembled to the assembly target W is placed on the tray carrier C at the tray placement position Pi, and then the circulation mechanism TC transfers the tray carrier C to the component supply position Ps. At this position, the assembly robot R takes out the parts with its take-out arm Ra and the assembly target W
This part is assembled to.

It should be noted that these tray carriers C are preferably provided with a plurality of tray carriers C for supplying parts to the assembly robot R sequentially and at short time intervals. In FIG. 1, four tray carriers C are provided. It is shown.

A plurality of parts are accommodated in the tray t. These parts may be the same kind of parts or several kinds of parts, but the parts can be easily replenished and controlled. For this reason, it is preferable that only one component of the same type is accommodated in one tray t.

More specifically, the tray carrier C on which the tray t containing the components is placed moves from the tray placement position Pi along the circulation path L to the component supply position Ps in the circulation cycle. The assembly robot R can take out required parts from the tray t placed on the tray carrier C.

When the assembly robot R finishes taking out the parts, the circulation mechanism TC causes the tray carrier C on which the tray t is placed to move to the next position along the circulation path L, for example, in the next circulation cycle. It is moved to the standby position Pw or the tray ejection position Po.

When the assembly robot R uses a plurality of parts of the same kind or different kinds housed in the tray t for a continuous assembling work, the assembly robot R selects the required parts from the tray t. The circulation mechanism can be controlled so that the tray carrier C on which the tray t is placed is stopped at the component supply position Ps until the take-out is completed.

When a plurality of tray carriers C 1, C 2, ... Are used due to the movement of the tray carriers by this circulation cycle, the tray t containing the parts used for the next assembly is placed. The tray carrier is located at the component supply position Ps and can supply the assembly robot R with components to be used in the next assembly.

By the way, when all the parts accommodated in the tray t placed on the tray carrier are taken out by the assembly robot and the tray becomes empty, the tray can be removed from the tray carrier. You will need it.

Therefore, when the tray carrier on which the empty tray is placed reaches the tray discharge position Po on the circulation path by the circulation cycle, the tray carrier C
The tray to placed on the tray is discharged by the discharging means J from the tray carrier to the outside.

When the assembly robot reuses the parts accommodated in the tray t placed on the tray carrier at the tray discharge position Po for assembling the assembly target, the tray t is used as a tray. If the tray is left on the tray carrier without being discharged even at the discharging position Po, this tray returns from the tray discharging position Po to the tray mounting position Pi to the component supply position Ps again according to the circulation cycle. The assembly robot R can take out the parts accommodated in the tray t again.

Further, when the assembly of the parts accommodated in the tray is completed, or when the type of the parts used for the assembly is changed, the parts in the tray are not used for the assembly. Also, similarly to the empty tray, it can be discharged from the tray discharge position Po to the outside of the circulation mechanism TC via the discharge mechanism J.

When the tray carrier which has been emptied by discharging the tray at the tray discharging position as described above reaches the tray mounting position Pi by the circulation cycle, the required parts selected and taken out from the storage section S are The accommodated tray ti is conveyed by the conveying means H, and this tray ti is placed on this empty tray carrier.

When a tray with a small amount of remaining parts is formed, a tray containing the same parts as the parts contained in this tray is selected from the storage section S, Further, by transporting this tray partway, the tray S, which has discharged all the parts that have been taken out and became an empty tray at the tray discharge position Po, reaches the tray placement position when the tray carrier reaches the tray mounting position. It is possible to quickly place the tray conveyed from the.

According to this configuration of the present invention, the assembly robot is supplied with the parts accommodated in the tray placed in the tray mounting position Pi in the tray carrier, so that it is necessary when changing the parts. It suffices to select a tray accommodating the above parts from the storage section S and place them on the tray carrier. Therefore, even if the type of the parts changes, there is no need to change the drive control method of the circulation mechanism TC. can get.

Further, a plurality of tray carriers C 1, C 2, C 3, ... Which move simultaneously with the circulation mechanism TC are provided, and the plurality of tray carriers are at least the tray mounting position Pi and the component supply position Ps. If the assembly robot is circulated through the tray discharge position Po in sequence, the assembly robot is allowed to carry the trays t 1, t 2, placed on these tray carriers C 1, C 2, C 3 , . It is possible to supply different parts in sequence from t 3, ..., so that the waiting time of the assembly robot can be shortened.

That is, when four kinds of parts are supplied to the assembly robot R using the circulation mechanism TC having four tray carriers as shown in FIG. 1, each of the four kinds of parts accommodates one kind of parts. If the trays are placed on the four tray carriers and the tray carrier is circulated by the circulation mechanism TC, the trays containing the four kinds of components sequentially arrive at the component supply position Ps according to the circulation cycle. The assembling robot R can sequentially take out the required four types of parts by taking out the parts from the tray at the parts supply position Ps for each circulation cycle.

Further, in the circulation mechanism having a plurality of tray carriers, when one tray carrier, for example, C 1 is in the tray mounting position Pi, at least the component supply position Ps and the tray discharge position Po are different from each other. carrier C 2, the tray carrier C 1 from each other fixed intervals as C 3 is positioned, C 2, C 3, if provided ..., tray placed in, extraction of components by an assembly robot and, Since empty trays and trays that are no longer needed can be discharged at the same time, the time required for these processes can be substantially shortened.

[0035]

【Example】

<< Outline of the Outline >> FIG. 2 is a view showing the outline of the overall configuration of the embodiment of the component supply apparatus according to the present invention, and the position of the tray carrier in the tray changer 4 corresponding to the circulation mechanism is shown in FIG. The outline of the operation of the entire configuration of this embodiment will be described first with reference to the principle diagram of FIG.

This component supply device includes a base module 7 having a discharge mechanism J built-in, and the base module 7
Reservoir S stacked on top and shown as three in this figure
And a stock module 8 1, 8 corresponding to the transport means H
2, 8 3 and a tray changer 4 corresponding to the circulation mechanism TC. Under the control of a controller (not shown), the assembly robot 3 attaches the parts to be attached to the assembly target 12 under assembly. 3 is automatically supplied.

The three-stage stock module 8 1,
8 2, 8 3 are all have the same configuration, for convenience of explanation, the stock module 81 that each are assigned to each of a plurality of trays of parts of the type containing a single type of component, 8 It shall be stored in one of 2, 8 3 . Therefore, in this embodiment, three kinds of parts are automatically supplied to the assembly robot 3, but more kinds of parts can be supplied by further stacking the stock modules 8.

The above stock modules 8 1, 8 2, 8
3 is space 9 1, 9 2 are provided, respectively, in FIG right and the left, right space 9 1 figure, inlet lifter 2 for transporting the stacked trays group T is moved up and down the inlet It is a lifter space, and when the pinion provided in the inlet lifter 2 is driven, the inlet lifter 2 moves up and down in the inlet lifter space 9 1 along the guide rail 22 because the pinion and the rack 21 mesh with each other. Move to.

The inlet lifter 2 is a tray containing parts.
Set the tray group T, which is a stack of
Jules 81At the height of the
Module 81At the same height position,
Stock module 8 at the top3And middle stock
Module 82In these stock modules 83,8 2
After moving to the height of
Push it toward the stock module 8.

[0040] Thus, the tray accommodating the parts assigned respectively to each of the stock module 8 1, 8 2, 8 3, the stock module 81 that is assigned to each part, 8 2, 8 3 rollers Although it is stored on the conveyor 23, when a separation mechanism (not shown) provided in front of the conveyor 23 is empty, or when all the trays t of the tray group T previously stored are discharged to the exit lifter 9 2 and become empty. , Is transported by the roller conveyor 23 to the position of the separating mechanism.

When an instruction to supply the components stored in the stock module, for example, the tray t stored in the uppermost stock module 8 3 is supplied from the control device, the separating mechanism of the stock module 8 3 is stacked. After separating one tray t at the uppermost stage of the tray group T, this separated one tray is extruded toward the outlet lifter 1.

This exit lifter 1 is a transport means H (FIG. 1).
Of the stock module 8
While holding one tray extruded from 1, 8 2, 8 3 in a suspended state, move the outlet lifter space 9 2 on the left side of the stock module 8 1, 8 2, 8 3 in the figure downwards. Then, the tray is released and placed on the roller conveyor 60 which is provided on the upper surface of the tray changer 4 and constitutes a part of the conveying means H (FIG. 1).

Therefore, this exit lifter space 9 2
Since the roller conveyor 60 of the tray changer 4 is located in the portion corresponding to the above, the planar shape of the base module 7 described in detail later is smaller than that of the stock module 8 only in the portion where the roller conveyor 60 is located. ing.

In the tray changer 4, the tray t placed on the roller conveyor 60 is placed on a tray carrier (not shown) at the tray placing position Pi, and the assembly robot 3 moves parts from the tray t in the subsequent movement cycle. The tray t is transferred to the component supply position Ps for taking out.

The assembling robot 3 assembles the parts taken out by the take-out arm from the tray placed on the tray carrier at the part supply position Ps of the tray changer 4 into the assembly target on the assembly table 12, and When the attachment is completed, the product is placed on the platen 10 on the conveyor 11 and conveyed to a predetermined place such as an assembly system for performing the next assembly work or a warehouse for storing the product. Reference numeral 13 is a control device for controlling the operation of this assembly system.

The tray carrier that has finished supplying the components to the assembly robot 3 moves from the component supply position Ps to the lower standby position Pw (FIG. 1) with the tray t still mounted, and the tray carrier is mounted in the next transfer cycle. The tray ejection position Po immediately below the placement position Pi
Move to. When the parts housed in this tray are used again for assembly by the assembly robot 3, the tray carrier circulates to the tray mounting position Pi in the next movement cycle with the tray still mounted, In a further moving cycle, the parts are moved to the parts supply position Ps and the parts are supplied to the assembly robot 3 again.

However, all the parts accommodated in the tray t are used for attachment to the object to be assembled and the tray becomes empty, or the parts accommodated in this tray are necessary for the assembly robot 3 to assemble. When the tray is no longer used, the empty or unnecessary tray (hereinafter referred to as an empty tray) is pushed out from the tray carrier onto the roller conveyor 89 of the tray changer 4 at the tray discharge position Po.

On the side of the tray changer 4 of the base module 7 which is in contact with the roller conveyor 89, a stacking mechanism for receiving the empty trays sent from the roller conveyor 89 and stacking the received empty trays is provided.

In this stacking mechanism, when the height of the stacked empty trays exceeds a predetermined height, the stacked empty trays are transferred from the stacking mechanism to the stock section on the roller conveyor, and the stacking trays are appropriately moved. Base module 7
Sent to the outside.

By the way, when a processing command coming from the control device designates a component as a processing target, etc., since the designation of this component is performed by the component code, it is necessary to confirm the component code of the component accommodated in the tray. Will be required.

For example, if the parts to be taken out by the assembling robot are different from the parts accommodated in the tray on which the tray carrier at the parts taking-out position Ps is placed, the assembling robot 3 takes out the parts. Since the hand used for the above and the take-out position of the parts are different, the assembly robot itself and the parts may be damaged.

In order to avoid such a problem, the tray mounting position Pi, the component take-out position Ps, the tray discharge position Po, and the like, at the tray carrier existing position which may be a target of the processing command, are set. It is necessary to check the parts that the tray carrier is carrying.

For this confirmation, it is most preferable to identify the parts themselves stored in the tray t by some method, but it is a technical technique to visually identify the shapes and sizes of the parts with a robot or the like. It is not practical because it is not only difficult, but extremely expensive if possible.

Therefore, in order to show the parts accommodated in the tray t, a mark indicating a part code given to the part or a code associated with the part is provided at a portion observable from the outside of the tray t. It is possible to display the mark and read the mark to confirm the components accommodated in the tray.

However, if the components are checked with such a configuration, these trays t are placed on the tray carrier as described above, and the tray carrier moves in the tray changer 4. Therefore, it is necessary to provide a sensor for reading the mark displayed on the tray for each tray carrier.

If the sensor is provided for each tray carrier as described above, not only the structure of the tray carrier itself becomes complicated, but also the electrical connection to the sensor in the moving tray carrier is required. Therefore, the tray changer is required. Since the structure of is also extremely complicated, it is difficult to realize it from the viewpoint of price and reliability.

Therefore, in this embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3, a tray mark Mt is displayed on each tray to indicate the type of the component housed at a position where it can be read from the outside, and the tray mark Mt is displayed. A different carrier mark Mc is displayed on the carrier C at a position where it can be read from the outside for each tray carrier.

Then, according to the output of the tray sensor St which has read the tray mark Mt displayed on the tray ti mounted on the tray carrier C, a component code indicating the type of the component accommodated in this tray t is output. A carrier code for identifying each tray carrier by the tray reading device and the output of the sensor Sc that has read the carrier mark Mc displayed on the tray carrier on the tray mounting position Pi for mounting the tray ti. A carrier reading device for outputting and a table means for storing the carrier code from the carrier reading device and the component code from the tray reading device in association with each other are provided.

As a result, when a command designating a component code is input from the host device, the component code in the command is converted into a carrier code corresponding to the component code by referring to the table means, and the carrier code is converted into the carrier code. Based on this, the instruction is executed. Note that these processes can be executed by the control processor provided in the component supply device.

In the following description, in order to facilitate understanding,
Each tray t stores only one type of component, and the tray mark Mt is described as indicating the component code Dp given to the component accommodated in this tray t.

A tray code sensor St is provided in the vicinity of the tray mounting position Pi, and the tray code sensor St reads the tray mark Mt displayed on the tray, and the read data is read by the processor. Send and convert to parts code Dp. That is, the tray code sensor St and the function of converting the read output of the tray code sensor St of the processor into the component code Dp constitute a tray reading device that outputs the component code.

On the other hand, a carrier code sensor Sc is provided at the tray mounting position Pi, and the carrier mark Mc provided on, for example, the side surface of the tray carrier C at the tray mounting position Ps is read to perform the same operation as described above. Carrier code Dc
Convert to. That is, the carrier code sensor Sc and the function of converting the read output of the carrier code sensor Sc of the processor into the carrier code Dc correspond to the tray reading device that outputs the carrier code.

If there are four tray carriers as shown in the figure, by using, for example, two white or black marks as a set as the carrier mark Mc, these four tray carriers are individually set. Can be identified.

In this way, the tray t is set at the tray loading position Pi.
By detecting the component code Dt from the tray mark Mt of the above and the carrier code Dc from the carrier mark Mc of the tray carrier C, the tray carrier C as shown in FIG. It is possible to obtain the correspondence relationship of the trays t that are stored as a table in which the carrier code Dc and the component code Dt are compared. In other words, this table shows the correspondence between the tray carrier C and the types of parts on the tray carrier C.

At this time, the parts supply position Ps where the parts are taken out from the tray and the tray discharge position Po are located at the positions where it is necessary to identify and confirm the parts housed in the tray at the positions. A code sensor similar to the above-mentioned carrier code sensor Sc is provided, the above-mentioned table is referred to by the carrier code Dc from the carrier mark Mc read by each sensor, and the component code stored corresponding to this carrier code Dc Try to get Dt.

Note that, in FIG. 3, the sensors provided at the component supply position Ps and the tray discharge position Po are not shown for the sake of clarity.

As shown in FIG. 4 (c), a shift register is used as the above table, for example, so that the pair of component code Dt and carrier code Dc is shifted as a unit. Position, for example, one tray carrier moves from the tray mounting position Pi to the component supply position.
If this shift is carried out each time it moves to Ps, the position of the pair of the component code Dt and the carrier code Dc on the table will always correspond to the position on the circulation path L of the tray carrier C.

Therefore, as shown on the right side of the figure, by reading the data at the fixed position on the table, the position on the circulation path corresponding to the position on the table, for example, the tray mounting position Pi, The tray carrier C located at the component supply position Ps or the tray discharge position Po and the component placed on this tray carrier can be easily recognized.

FIG. 4 (a) is a flow chart showing the principle of this embodiment using the above-mentioned table, showing an example of a subroutine executed when a command designating a component by a component code arrives. ing.

In step [1], it is judged whether or not the instruction that has arrived is an instruction that specifies the component by the component code. When such an instruction arrives, the process moves to the next step [2] and this instruction is issued. The component code Dp in the inside is extracted, and the table is referenced with this component code Dp as a key in step [3].

In step [4], it is checked whether this part code Dp exists in the table, and this part code Dp
If Dp is not in the table, the process proceeds to step [5] to notify the upper-level device, perform abnormal processing such as stopping the operation of the component supply device, and then end this subroutine.

However, this part code is added to the table.
If Dp exists, in step [6] the part code of the above command
Dp is replaced with the carrier code Dc, and in step [7], this instruction is executed based on the carrier code Dc or based on the carrier code Dc according to the content of the instruction. It should be noted that this step [7] is not executed in the subroutine of this figure, but is shown enclosed by a dotted line in this subroutine for convenience.

As the tray mark Mt displayed on the tray t, a code different from the component code Dp assigned to the component, for example, each tray t 1, t 2, ... T.
When a code based on a code assigned to each z or a code set for each housed part is used, if these codes are converted into a part code using a table, for example, The instruction specifying the part code can be processed in the same manner as described above.

Individual components in the embodiment of the component supply apparatus shown in FIG. 2 will be described below.

<< Tray >> An embodiment of a tray for accommodating components will be described with reference to FIG. It should be noted that only one type of component is accommodated in the tray t, and the component accommodated in this tray is accommodated in the vertical direction so that the assembly robot R can take it out. Since the method of holding the component in the tray t differs depending on the shape and structure of the component, illustration of the component holding means in the tray is omitted.

FIG. 5 (a) is a perspective view of the tray t. The tray t has a box shape as a whole, and the flange portion provided on the upper edge of the tray t has an upper stage when a plurality of trays are stacked. tray bottom fitting, for example, about 5mm combined a flange t 1 is provided to leave a recess t 2 for preventing the displacement of the tray each other, substantially flat shape to the flange t 1 is wide at the outer edge isosceles Trapezoidal first and second notches
t 3 and t 4 are formed respectively.

Further, at the bottom of the tray t, the bottom of the tray t which is the upper stage when the trays are stacked as described above.
the t5 is provided on the edge of the lower tray recess t 2
A step t6 is provided around the entire circumference of the bottom so as to be fitted with

Further, as shown in FIG.
The tray mark 14 described as "Mt" is displayed, and the mark 14 is provided by a method such as attaching as a label.

As this tray mark, an appropriate mark such as a bar code or a dot mark capable of displaying a number of types corresponding to the type of parts can be used, and the contents to be displayed are as described above. As described above, when only one type of component is accommodated in the tray, it is desirable to use an encoded component code of the accommodated component.

The planar size of the tray t is the same for all the trays used, but depending on the size of the parts accommodated in these trays, as shown in FIG. It is possible to use multiple types of trays with different depths such as only 45mm, 85mm, 125mm. In the following description, it is assumed that the trays having the three kinds of depths shown in this figure are used, and the one having a depth of 45 mm is the S tray,
The 85 mm type is called the M tray, and the 125 mm type is called the L tray.

<< Inlet Lifter >> The inlet lifter 2 whose structure is shown in FIG. 6 has an inlet lifter space 9 1 provided in each of the stock modules 8 1, 8 2 and 8 3 as described in FIG. It is movable up and down inside, and stock modules 8 1, 8 2, from the position where tray group T is received .
The inlet lifter space 9 1 is moved to a height corresponding to a predetermined module in 8 3 and the component-containing tray group T placed thereon is pushed into the stock module.

The inlet lifter 2 engages with the guide rails 22 provided at the corners of the inlet lifter spaces 9 1 of the stock modules 8 1, 8 2, 8 3 as shown by the dotted lines in FIG. A guide roller 19 is provided, and a pinion 18 1 that engages with a rack 21 provided on at least one of the guide rails 22 and a vertical drive motor 18 that drives the pinion 18 1 are provided. By driving 18 the inlet lifter 2 moves up and down.

The inlet lifter 2 is provided with a belt conveyer 15 for receiving the placed tray group T and pushing it out to the stock module 8. Further, the inlet lifter 2 is placed on the belt conveyer 15. The photoelectric sensor 20 for reading the above-mentioned tray mark 14 (FIG. 5) displayed on the bottom surface of the tray t, the stopper 16 which can be controlled by a drive mechanism such as a cylinder to determine the stop position of the tray, and the tray 16. A guide plate 17 for limiting the lateral movement of the group T is provided.

For example, when an unmanned vehicle conveys a tray group designated by a delivery instruction to an automatic warehouse and arrives at the component supply device, the belt conveyor 15 of the entrance lifter 2 at the initial position rotates to stack from the unmanned vehicle. The tray group T thus formed is received on the conveyor 15, but at this time, the stopper 16
Determines the position of the front end when the tray group is loaded in the raised position.

When the tray group T arrives at this stopper 16, the photoelectric sensor 20 arranged adjacent to the stopper 16 is provided.
1 detects the arrival of this tray group and stops the belt conveyor 15.

The tray mark 14 on the bottom of the tray at the bottom of the tray group positioned by the stopper 16 and the guide plate 17 is a photoelectric sensor formed of a plurality of photosensitive elements provided in the belt conveyor 15. It is read by 20, and the control processor inspects based on this tray mark 14 whether or not the component contained in this tray group is the designated component.

In the case of a tray group containing specified parts, the inlet lifter 2 is a rack 21 provided on a pinion and guide rails which are rotated by the drive of the vertical drive motor 18.
This tray group is carried to the designated stock module of either of the stock modules 8 2 and 8 3 by the meshing of the trays.

In the initial state, if the height position of the inlet lifter 2 is set so that the upper surface of the belt conveyor 15 of the inlet lifter 2 and the upper surface of the conveyor 23 of the base module 7 are set at the same height, the stock is lifted. Module 8
It will be clear that the inlet lifter 2 does not have to move up and down when transporting the tray group T to 1 .

When the inlet lifter 2 is located at a predetermined height of the stock module, the stopper 16 is lowered and the belt conveyor 20 is rotated to move the tray group T to the buffer 23 (which is constituted by the free flow conveyor of the stock module 8). 2 and 7 (a)).

<< Stock Module >> Part 1 in FIG. 7 (a)
The stock module 8 shown in FIG. 1 receives the tray group T, in which a plurality of trays t accommodating the same type of components are stacked, from the inlet lifter 2 and temporarily stocks it.
This is for separating one tray t at the lowermost stage from the stocked tray group T and sending it to the exit lifter 6.

These stock modules 8 1, 8 2,
Each of 8 3 is assigned to one type of component, so that the tray group T stocked by one stock module is supposed to accommodate the same component.

The space surrounded by the four guide rails 22 on the right side of FIG. 7 (a) is the inlet lifter space 9 1 in which the above-mentioned inlet lifter 2 moves up and down.
At least one of the two 2 is provided with a rack 21 that meshes with the lifting pinion 18 1 (FIG. 6) of the inlet lifter 2.

The tray group T sent out by the conveyor 15 of the inlet lifter 2 after the inlet lifter 2 has been raised to the designated height of the stock module 8 is constituted by a free-flow conveyor for storing a plurality of tray groups. The tray group is moved to a buffer 23 and is moved to a position where the frontmost tray group among the plurality of tray groups stored in the buffer abuts on the inclinable stopper 24 and stops.

When an instruction to supply the tray stored in the stock module 8 to the assembling robot is received from the control device, the tray is provided immediately below the separating claw 26 of the separating mechanism provided in front of the buffer 23. Conveyor 2
When a sensor (not shown) for detecting the presence of the tray group on the tray 5 detects that there is no tray in the separating mechanism, the stopper 24 provided at the front end of the buffer 23 is lowered and then the free flow is performed. The conveyor 23 and the conveyor 25 under the separation claw 26 are driven to move the tray group in the buffer 23 to the separation mechanism.

When the leading end of the tray group reaches the conveyor 25 below the separating claw 26, the transfer speed of this conveyor 25 is higher than the transfer speed of the free flow conveyor 23, so that it is between the first tray group and the next tray group. By creating a gap and raising the stopper 24 again to this gap, the tray group T transferred to the separating mechanism and the tray group remaining on the buffer 23 are separated.

At the position of the conveyor 25, as shown in the cross section of FIG. 7 (b), the separating claw 2 is provided by the rack 27, the pinion 28 and the rotary actuator 29.
6 is configured to move in a direction perpendicular to the paper surface of this figure, whereby the flange portion t of the tray is
1 (FIG. 5) is switched between a protruding state in which it is hooked from below and a retracted state in which it is separated from this flange portion t 1 .

The separating claws 26 are vertically movable and are provided as a pair of left and right. Since the separating claws 26 are connected to the left and right chains 31 driven by the motor 32 via the shaft 33, respectively. When the motor 32 is driven, the pair of separation claws 26 move up and down along the guide mechanism 30 while maintaining the same height.

Then, the separating claws 26 are raised in a state of being higher than the height of the flange of one tray and lower than the height of the flange of the upper tray when two trays are stacked. Then, the separation claw 26 engages with the flange portion of the tray located in the second stage from the bottom of the tray group T in the separation position, and the trays above the second stage are lifted. A tray is separated from other trays.

For example, in the stock module that stocks the L tray described with reference to FIG. 5, the height of the upper surface of the flange of the L tray (125 mm) is higher than the height of the upper surface of the L tray.
The bottom tray is separated by raising the separating claw 26 from a height lower than the lower edge of the flange of the upper L tray (125 + 120-10 = 235mm) when stacked individually. To be done.

As described above, when the lowermost tray is separated from the tray group T by the separating mechanism, only the lowermost tray remains on the conveyor 25. Therefore, by driving this conveyor 25, the lowermost tray is moved. The existing tray is pushed out toward the exit lifter 6.

After the lowermost tray is discharged to the exit lifter, the separating claw 26 in the protruding state is moved downward by rotating the motor 32.
The tray group remaining on the top is lowered onto the conveyor 25. Then, the rotary actuator 29 is driven to move the separation claw 26 from the protruding position to the retracted position, and the tray group is held on the conveyor 25.

<< Outlet Lifter >> The outlet lifter 6 shown in a perspective view in FIG. 8 (a) holds the trays separated by the separating mechanism of the stock module 8 as described above while holding each stock module 8 1, 8 2 , 8 3 to move the outlet lifter space 9 2 downward to place the tray on the roller conveyor 60 provided on the upper surface of the tray changer 4 (FIG. 2).

Similar to the inlet lifter 2, the outlet lifter 6 is supported so that guide rollers 49 attached to the four corners of the substrate 6 1 can move up and down along the guide rails 50. By rotating the pinion 48 1 meshing with the rack 52 provided on one guide rail with the motor 48, the board 6 1 is moved up and down.

On the lower surface of the substrate 6 1 of the exit lifter 6, a pair of support claws 5 having a U-shaped cross section and provided with a belt cover 47 so as to project from a hole provided in the vertical portion thereof.
6 are opposed to each other, and a moving mechanism is provided for moving the distance between the support claws 56 to a pressing position for pressing the side surface of the tray t to be gripped and a releasing position for releasing the pressing.

As shown in the sectional view of FIG. 8 (b) and the plan view of FIG. 8 (c), this moving mechanism has support claws 56 1, 56 2
Equipped with racks 56 3 and 56 4 respectively coupled to
These racks 56 3, 56 4 is configured to the one of which is moved by the gear and the other rack moves in the opposite direction.

[0106] Cylinder 53, 54 and the cam 55 is a mechanism for moving the one 56 3 of the rack, the cylinder 54 is intended to move in the vertical direction shown in FIG. 8 (c) the cam 55, the cylinder 53 the roller 53 1 is attached to the distal end of the arm is intended to press the cam surface of the cam 55.

In the state shown in FIG. 8 (c), the cylinder 5
Since the roller 53 1 is attached to the tip of the arm 3 is pushed to the left in the drawing by the cam 55, the rack 56 3 one arm to coupled the cylinder 53 located to the left of the figure, since the other rack 56 4 is shifted to the right, supporting pawls 56 1, 56 2 has a small the interval, in press pressing position conveyor 47 to the tray to grip.

When this cam 55 is moved upward in the figure by controlling the cylinder 54, the roller 53 1 is moved to the right in the figure, so this roller 53 1 is connected to the arm to which it is attached. the rack 56 3 also moves to the right in the figure, since the other rack 56 4 moves to the left in FIG reversed by gears intervening spacing of the support pawl 56 1, 56 2 spreads than the width of the tray , The release position for releasing the gripped tray is reached.

In the initial state, the exit lifter 6 is at the position of the uppermost stock module with the support pawls 56 1 and 56 2 in the pressing position, and a command to supply the tray storing the components comes from the control processor. Then, the upper end surface of the support claw 56 of the exit lifter 6 and the upper surface of the belt conveyor 25 (FIG. 7 (a)) of the stock module 8 in which the trays containing the components to be supplied are stocked become the same height. The motor 48 is rotated until the proximity switch (not shown) detects that, and the outlet lifter 6 is moved downward.

After the outlet lifter 6 reaches this position, when the belt conveyor 25 of the stock module 8 of FIG. 7 (a) is driven, the separated tray t is pushed out by this conveyor 25 and the inside of the belt conveyor 47 ( The stock module 8 is driven by pressing it against the tray side.
The tray t extruded from the support claws 56 1, 5 is guided by the pair of support claws 56 provided with the conveyors 47, respectively, as shown by the dotted line in FIG. 8B.
It is gripped by 6 2 .

In this way, the outlet lifter 6 holding the tray t is lowered to a height close to the roller conveyer 60 (FIG. 2) provided on the upper surface of the tray changer 4, and then the pair of support claws 56 is supported by the cylinder 54. When the tray is opened, the tray t held by the pair of support claws 56 is transferred onto the roller conveyor 60 of the tray changer 4.

After that, the outlet lifter 6 moves to the position of the uppermost stock module in the initial state, controls the cylinder 54, and returns the support claw 56 to the pressing position.

<< Tray Changer >> The tray changer shown in the perspective view of FIG. 9 corresponds to the circulation mechanism explained in the principle diagram of FIG. 1 as a whole. For convenience of illustration, FIG. 9 is shown by a perspective view seen from the opposite direction to the already described FIGS. 2 and 6 to 8. Therefore, the tray from the inlet lifter is shown from the left to the right in the figure. Be transferred to.

This tray changer receives the tray conveyed from the stock modules 8 2 and 8 3 by the outlet lifter 6 (FIGS. 2 and 8) or the tray extruded from the stock module 8 1 as described above. Roller conveyor 60 and stopper 6 that determines the stop position of the tray
1, and a pushing claw 65 that moves up and down for loading the tray,
Carry-in cylinder 66 and tray receiving / opening / closing cylinder 6
4. A receiving mechanism including a tray type detection sensor 68 and the like is provided.

When the tray is received by the receiving mechanism, it is determined whether or not the tray exists in the receiving mechanism based on the information stored in the control processor, and the tray is received when there is no tray. It is a thing.

A tray placed on the roller conveyor 60 by the exit lifter 6 from the stock modules 8 2, 8 3 as described above, or a tray positioned on the roller conveyor 60 by being horizontally extruded from the stock module 8 1. The tray t is moved toward the stopper 61 by driving the roller conveyor 60, and when the tray hits the stopper 61, a tray detection means (not shown) operates to stop the roller conveyor 60, and the tray t is moved to a predetermined position. The tray t is stopped.

At this position, the photoelectric sensor 68 provided at a position slightly lower than the carrying surface of the roller conveyor 60 reads the tray mark 14 provided on the bottom surface of the tray as shown in FIG.

Incidentally, the photoelectric sensor 68 in this embodiment.
Is of a type in which a mark is read through an optical fiber, and the tip of the optical fiber is shown between the rollers of the roller conveyor 60 in the figure, but the other end of the optical fiber is shown. Not provided photoelectric conversion element.

As described above, in this embodiment, the mark data read by the photoelectric sensor 68 is sent to the control processor to be converted into a component code and then temporarily stored in the working memory. Then, as will be described later, when the carrier code of the tray carrier on which this tray is placed is obtained, the carrier code corresponds to the part code area of the table means as illustrated in FIGS. 4 (b) and (c). It is stored in the state where

By comparing this part code with the part code of the part requested by the control processor, it can be confirmed whether or not this tray is a tray accommodating the required part.

<< Tray Carrier Circulation Mechanism >> In this tray changer, the tray carrier 62 on which the tray is placed is placed.
1, 62 2, 62 3, 62 4 circulating path L tray loading position Pi → component feed position while keeping the horizontal along (FIG. 1) Ps → standby position Pw → tray ejection position Po → tray mounting position Pi Therefore, the driving belts 70 1 and 70 2 having the same travel route shape as the circulation route L and horizontally displaced are provided on each side of the circulation route L. Has been.

Numerals 70 3 and 70 4 are a set of drive belts provided on the opposite side of the circulation path L, and the configuration of these drive belts 70 3 and 70 4 and the connection relationship with the tray carrier 62 are different. , A set of drive belts 70 1, 7 shown
The structure of No. 0 2 and the connection relationship with the tray carrier 62 are the same, so the following description of the circulation operation of the tray carrier cites the structure relating to the drive belts 70 1, 70 2 and the tray carrier 62 shown in the drawing. .

As shown in the enlarged view of FIG. 10 (a), the tray carrier 62 has a bearing 71 in which a shaft 69 fixed to a protrusion 62A provided on the bottom surface thereof is fixed to one belt 70 1. The shaft 6 is inserted and fixed to one end of the link plate 72, and is planted at the other end of the link plate 72.
9 1 is inserted into a bearing 71 1 fixed to the other belt 70 2 .

[0124] The drive belt 70 1 and 70 2, because it is arranged offset by a distance corresponding to the axis 69, 69 1 which is fixed to the link plate 72 in the horizontal direction, they drive belt 70 1, 70 2 and the drive belt 70 3, on the opposite side
If the 70 4 and 70 4 are rotated at the same speed, the tray carrier 62 will circulate along the circulation path while keeping the horizontal.

As shown in FIG. 9, the drive mechanism for these belts 70 1, 70 2, 70 3, 70 4 has a drive shaft 78 from a motor 80 incorporating a brake mechanism via a belt 79. Drive to rotate. The belt 7 is attached to the drive shaft 78.
Drive pulley 76 for driving 0 1 , an invisible drive pulley for driving the drive belt 70 3 on the opposite side, and a third pulley for driving the other belts 70 2, 70 4 , respectively. Four pulleys are secured, 76 1 and the invisible fourth pulley on the opposite side.

Since the third pulley 76 1 drives a pulley having the same diameter for driving the belt 70 2 via the belt 75, when the motor 80 is rotated, 70 1, 70 2, 7
The four drive belts 0 3 70 4 rotate at the same speed. It should be noted that the guides 81 provided on the left and right sides allow the belt carrier 7 to move so that the tray carrier 62 moves horizontally.
Guide 0 1, 70 2, 70 3 70 4 .

As a result, the link plate 72 circulates along the circulation path while maintaining the horizontal position, so that the link plate 7
Tray carrier 62 is supported by a shaft 69 to 2 be the tray 62 1 while keeping the horizontal, 62 2, 62 3, 62 tray loading position Pi illustrated as 4, circulates component supply position Ps and the tray ejection position Po be able to.

When the tray in the receiving mechanism is placed on the tray carrier of the tray changer for supplying parts to the assembly robot, the roller conveyor 6 of the receiving mechanism is used.
The control processor recognizes that the tray carrier 61 1 at the tray loading position Pi facing 0 is empty, or the tray carrier that has ejected an empty tray at the tray ejection position below this tray loading position is When the control processor receives a signal indicating that the tray mounting position has been reached, the tray carrier 62 1 is stopped at the tray mounting position Pi.

In this embodiment, at this tray mounting position,
The photoelectric sensor 74 1 reads the carrier mark 74 displayed on the side surface of the tray carrier 62. Since the carrier mark 74 only needs to be able to individually identify the tray carrier 62 in the tray changer as described above, When there are four tray carriers as in the embodiment, each tray carrier can be identified by combining two white and black marks.

Further, since the carrier mark is simple in this way, the sensor 74 1 for reading the carrier mark is also small and simple because it is only necessary to identify two types of indications for the two marks as described above. It ’s enough.
Further, since the number of conducting wires connected to this sensor is small, it becomes easy to install this sensor 74 1 in the tray changer.

The data read by the photoelectric sensor 74 1 is sent to the control processor and converted into a carrier code. And this carrier code is shown in Fig. 4 (b), (c)
As described above, the component code once stored in the working memory as described above and the carrier code are stored in the table means in a corresponding state.

On the other hand, in order to place the tray on the roller conveyor 60 on this tray carrier 62 1 , FIG.
As shown in FIG. 5, the opening / closing door 63 rotatably provided around the shaft 67 at the end of the tray carrier is pushed by the cylinder 64 to open, and at the same time, the stopper 61 is tilted.

After that, the push claws 65 at the two left and right positions are raised, and when it is detected that the push claws 65 have reached the height at which they come into contact with the rear portion of the tray, the push claws 65 are rapidly moved by the conveying cylinder 66. Is moved toward the tray carrier 62 1 , and the tray on the roller conveyor 60 is extruded and placed on the tray carrier 62 1 .

The push claw 65 and the transfer cylinder 6
The reason why the tray is placed on the tray carrier by means of 6 is that it is difficult to increase the tray transfer speed by this roller conveyor 60, and this roller conveyor 60 is used to assist the tray transfer. You may drive.

When the tray is placed on the tray carrier 62 1 , the transfer cylinder 66 and the opening / closing door 63 are closed by springs, and the tray t is pushed to a predetermined position on the tray carrier 62 1 . When the tray is completely loaded into the tray carrier 62 1 , the transport cylinder 66 is returned to the illustrated fixed position and the push claw 65 is lowered to complete the tray transport process to the tray carrier 62.

As described above, when the tray t is placed on the tray carrier 62, the tray is positioned. To position the tray in the advancing direction, the tapered tops attached to the tips of the shafts of the positioning cylinders 82 attached to the left and right of one side surface of the tray changer are inserted into the escape holes of the tray carrier. Through the tapered notch at the edge of the tray t shown in FIG.
It is done by fitting the t 3, t 4.

A similar cylinder is also provided at a position on the opposite side of the tray facing the cylinder 82 so that the center line of the tray is aligned with the center line of the tray carrier 62 by driving simultaneously with the cylinder 82. Is desirable.

A tray carrier 62 on which this tray is placed
1 is due to the circulation mechanism of the tray changer described above.
While keeping the tray horizontal, the assembly robot 3 moves to the component supply position Ps (the position where the tray 62 2 is shown) for taking out the components accommodated in this tray.

When the tray carrier 62 1 reaches the component supply position Ps from the tray mounting position Pi, the control processor is composed of a shift register.
The component code and the carrier code in the table in (c) are combined to shift from the storage position on the shift register corresponding to the tray mounting position Pi to the storage position on the shift register corresponding to the component supply position Ps.

Then, with reference to the table composed of this shift register, the carrier code at the storage position corresponding to the component supply position Ps is converted into the component code accommodated in this tray carrier, and, for example, from the host device. Check the match with the component code specified by the component supply command coming to the control processor.

If the part code designated by the command and the part code read from the table match, the assembly robot normally takes out the part, but if they do not match, the assembly robot picks up the part. Prohibits the taking out of the product and performs an abnormal process such as issuing an alarm.

When a plurality of parts accommodated in this tray are used for assembling to the object W to be assembled (FIG. 1), the tray carrier is maintained in the same position and the parts are used a plurality of times. As described above, it is sufficient to take out.

[0143] When the extraction of the components by the assembly robot in the component supply position Ps is completed, the tray carrier 6 in which the tray changer shifts to the next position showing the tray carrier as a tray 62 3, the component supply position Ps subsequent
2 2 are taken out of the components by an assembly robot as well as positioned above takes place.

When the removal of the parts from the succeeding tray carrier 62 2 is completed, the tray changer performs the shift operation again, so that the tray carrier 62 1 is located at the tray ejection position Po.

At this time, if there are parts to be supplied to the assembly robot in the tray carrier at the tray discharge position Po, the subsequent tray changer shifts to the parts supply position Ps via the tray mounting position Pi. Really
Here, the parts accommodated in the tray are taken out by the assembly robot.

As described above, at the component supply position Ps of the tray changer, the assembling robot sequentially takes out the components from the tray, so that the tray becomes empty at last, but the order of taking out the components from the respective positions of the tray is Since it is predetermined on the position coordinate table, when the component is taken out from the final position by the robot, a tray final component signal indicating that the tray is empty is generated.

Although the final component signal in the tray indicates an empty tray by the component code, it can be stored in the memory of the control processor after converting the component code into the carrier code.

Then, when the parts at the final position have been taken out from the robot and the parts take-out completion signal is sent to the control processor, the control processor must have the tray final part signal signal and the parts take-out completion signal. Is detected and the empty tray is discharged from the tray changer 4.

[0149] That is, when the tray carrier 62 1 of mounting the empty tray reaches the position shown as a numeral 62 4 to the tray ejection position Po along the circulation path from the component feeding position Ps, the tray ejection position Po The tray on the tray carrier 62 4 is checked by the component code and the carrier code at the shift position corresponding to the tray discharge position of the table configured as the shift register as shown in FIG. 4 (c).

When the table is not composed of a shift register, the sensor for reading the carrier mark displayed on the tray carrier 62 at this tray ejection position is the same as the sensor shown as 74 1 in FIG. It will be apparent that the carrier code may be provided at the same time, and the carrier code may be obtained from the read output.

In this way, when it is confirmed that the tray is the tray to be ejected, the empty tray to be ejected is removed from the circulation path, and the empty tray is shown in FIG. 11 by the ejection mechanism of the tray changer. A discharging operation for carrying out the base module 7 is performed.

The ejecting mechanism of the tray changer hits the lower portion of the openable door 63 of the tray carrier 62, and
3 for automatically opening the cam follower 83 and the tray 8 for pushing out the tray 8 so that the pushing piece 84 rises.
5, a drive motor 88 for driving the tray discharge belt 85, a drive pulley 86 and a driven pulley 87, a roller conveyor 89 for discharging the tray, and a stopper 90.

Tray carrier 62 on which an empty tray is placed
Is in the tray discharge position Po, the open / close door 63 of the tray carrier 62 is automatically opened by the cam follower 83 provided in the lower part of the tray changer to allow the empty tray to be carried out, and then the tray discharge belt 85 By rotating, the pushing piece 84 rises up through a notch formed in the bottom surface of the tray carrier 62,
Since the empty tray continues to move while being pushed from behind, the empty tray is pushed onto the roller conveyor 89 while sliding on the surface of the tray carrier 62.

At this time, the gap formed between the tray carrier 62 and the roller conveyor 89 is filled like a bridge with the opening / closing door 63 of the tray carrier being opened, and the pushing piece 84 is empty. When the tray has been pushed out, it is returned to its original position by rotating the drive motor 88 in the reverse direction.

After that, by driving the roller conveyor 89, the empty tray moves toward the base module 7 (FIGS. 2 and 11) until it abuts on the stopper 90, and stops.

<< Base Module >> Base Module 7
11, is equipped with a stacking mechanism for stacking empty trays discharged from the tray changer 4. This stacking mechanism is provided with a belt conveyor 34 and a conveyor 34 provided on the conveyor 34. A pair of claws 35 that can be raised and lowered and can be hooked from both sides to the flange portion t 1 (FIG. 5) of the empty tray,
A stopper 36 that determines the stacking position is provided.

The pair of claws 35 are provided on the base 35 1 which moves up and down along the guide mechanism 40 by the arms 41 1 attached to the pair of chains 41 driven by the rotation shaft 43 from the motor 42. There is.

Then, the claws 35 are reciprocated between a projecting position where the flanges of the trays at the bottom of the tray group stacked on the conveyor 34 are hooked from below and a retracting position which is separated from the flanges. to exercise, and a rotary actuator 39 for driving a rack 37 fixed to the pawl 35, the pinion 38 and the pinion 38 provided in the base 35 1.

In this stacking mechanism, the tray transferred from the tray changer 4 onto the conveyor 34 has a thickness of 12
It is assumed that a 5 mm L tray, an 85 mm thick M tray, and a 45 mm S tray are mounted on the tray carrier and are circulating.

When there is no empty tray to be stacked in the stacking mechanism, the pawl 35 is open and stands by at a height position where it does not interfere with the empty tray to be stacked, and this position is the maximum of trays. Since the thickness of the L tray is 125 mm, it is set at a position 130 mm from the conveyor 34 surface.

When the sensor 36 1 detects that an empty tray has arrived at the stopper 36, the pawl 35 remains open and moves to a position lower than the flange of the tray having the minimum thickness, but this height is the minimum of the tray. Since the thickness is 45 mm and the thickness of the flange portion is 10 mm, the height from the surface of the conveyor 34 is less than 30 mm.

The height of the tray is determined for each part to be housed, and a table storing the height of the tray corresponding to the part code is prepared, or shown in FIGS. 4 (b) and 4 (c). By storing the height of the tray in the table by referring to the table in addition to the part code corresponding to each carrier code, the height of the tray ejected from the tray changer can be known in advance. .

At this position, the rotary actuator 3
9 is activated and the pawl 35 moves to the projecting position, so that the flange portion of the empty tray is hooked on the pawl 35 from below. After that, the pawl 35 is lifted by the motor 42 to reach the maximum thickness.
The empty tray is lifted from the surface of the conveyor 34 to a height of 130 mm so that the L tray having 125 mm will not collide even if it is carried in from the tray changer next time.

In the standby state described above, that is, in the state where the empty tray or the empty tray group consisting of stacked empty trays is already in the stacking mechanism, the claws 35 are closed and the empty trays stacked as described above. 130m from the conveyor surface
When the next empty tray arrives at the stopper 36 by lifting it to the position of m, the pawl 35 detects the newly loaded empty tray by the photoelectric switch (not shown) provided in the moving means of the pawl 35. Descend to the position where

This lowering position is a position where the empty trays (groups) that have already been stacked and lifted are lowered onto the empty trays that have been loaded from the tray changer. When this position is reached, the rotary actuator 39 is activated. Since the claws 35 move to the retracted position, the empty trays (groups) that have already been stacked on the newly loaded empty tray and were in the stacking mechanism are unloaded and stacked.

Thereafter, with the claw 35 retracted, the height of the upper surface of the claw 35 is lower than that of the flange of the thinnest tray.
The claw 35 descends until it becomes less than or equal to mm, and then the rotary actuator 39 is activated to move the claw 35 to the projecting position and the flange portion of the tray newly loaded is hooked on the claw 35 from below.

After that, the pawl 35 is driven by driving the motor 42.
Rises, the empty tray group is lifted up to 130 mm above the conveyor surface, and returns to the standby state.

As described above, when the stacking upper limit switch (not shown) is turned on when the empty tray group being lifted is unloaded onto the newly loaded empty tray, that is, up to the planned height. When the empty trays are stacked, the rotary actuator 39 is activated to move the claw 35 to the retracted position, so that the empty tray group includes the newly loaded empty tray as the lowermost stage and the conveyor 34.
It will be placed on top.

By lowering the stopper 36 and driving the conveyor 34, the empty tray group is pushed out from the conveyor 34 to the next roller conveyor 44,
Stock on the conveyor 44. After the empty tray group is placed on the conveyor 34 as described above, the claws 35 of the stacking mechanism are retracted from the surface of the conveyor 34 in the retracted state.
Ascends to a height of 0 mm and returns to the standby state.

The empty tray group stocked on the conveyor 44 as described above is pushed forward by the succeeding empty tray group when the succeeding empty tray group is pushed out from the stacking mechanism in the same manner as described above.

If the empty tray group can be discharged to the outside of the component supplying device while keeping the height of the roller conveyor 44, the roller conveyor 44 can be extended to near the right end of the base module. However, in this embodiment, the empty tray is discharged to the outside of the component supply device, for example, from the tray loading position of the stock module 8 1 (FIG. 2) at the lowermost stage.

Therefore, an inlet lifter space 7 1 is also provided at a position corresponding to the inlet lifter space 9 1 (FIG. 2) of the stock module 8 of the base module 7, and the stock module is provided at the corner of this space 7 1. The guide rails and the racks are provided at positions corresponding to the guide rails and the racks of No. 8 so that the above-mentioned inlet lifter (FIG. 6) can move in the inlet lifter space 7 1 .

The empty tray group stocked on the roller conveyor 44 is pushed by the succeeding empty tray group pushed out from the stacking mechanism and moved to the position where it strikes the stopper 45, and the empty tray group is detected by the sensor 45 1. Upon detection, the inlet lifter 2 descends until a sensor (not shown) detects that the upper surface of the conveyor 44 and the upper surface of the belt conveyor 15 of the inlet lifter 2 are aligned.

Thereafter, the stopper 45 is lowered and the roller conveyor 44 and the belt conveyor 15 (FIG. 6) of the entrance lifter 2 are rotated to transfer the empty tray group onto the entrance lifter 2. At this time, it goes without saying that the stopper of the inlet lifter should not interfere with this transfer.

The empty tray group placed on the inlet lifter 2 is conveyed by the belt conveyor 15 of the inlet lifter 2 shown in FIG. 6, and the tip of the empty tray group is forward of the inlet lifter space of the base module 7. Stopper 4 provided
When a sensor (not shown) detects that the number reaches 6, the rotations of the roller conveyor 44 of the base module and the belt conveyor 15 of the entrance lifter 2 are stopped and the empty tray group is placed on the entrance lifter 2.

After that, the entrance lifter 2 moves up to the height of a required stock module such as the stock module 8 1 and rotates the belt conveyor 15 in order to carry out this empty tray group to an unmanned warehouse by an unmanned vehicle. By doing so, this empty tray group is loaded into the unmanned vehicle.

When the empty tray group is carried out by the unmanned vehicle in this way, when the sensor of the unmanned vehicle confirms that the empty tray group has been carried into the unmanned vehicle, the confirmation of the carry-in from the unmanned vehicle is performed. Base module 7 according to the signal
The rotation of the belt conveyor 15 is stopped.

When the empty tray group is no longer detected at the position of the stopper 45 of the roller conveyor 44 by the sensor (not shown) and the empty tray group is no longer detected by the sensor (not shown), the belt conveyor 15 of the inlet lifter 2 is detected.
And the upper surface of the conveyor 23 of the base module 7 are moved to a position where they have the same height, and the initial state is restored.

<< Assembly Robot >> An example of the assembly robot 3 for assembling a predetermined product by receiving the supply of parts from the parts supply device according to the present invention will be described.

The assembling robot 3 whose schematic configuration is shown in FIG. 2 is equipped with a take-out arm for picking up and holding a component from the tray at the component supply position Ps in the circulation path of the tray changer 4, and An assembling table 12 for attaching the parts gripped by the fingers to the assembly, a finger stock for detachably holding the fingers corresponding to the individual parts to be attached, a screw, an E-shaped snap ring, etc. There is also a stand for supplying general-purpose fasteners.

Further, a component supply device, a control device including a control processor for controlling the assembly robot, an assembly to which components are assembled, or an assembly-completed assembly is placed and conveyed. Conveyors carrying platens (shown as plates on the conveyor 11) are each provided lateral to the gantry.

An assembling operation of attaching the parts supplied by the parts supply apparatus of the present invention to the object to be assembled by the assembling robot having the above structure will be described.

When the platen moving on the conveyor 11 places the object to be assembled and arrives at a predetermined position, a sensor (not shown) detects the arrival of the platen, and the cell controller 13 for controlling the entire system controls it. The positioning mechanism positions the platen, and then the robot arm moves the assembly to the assembly position.

Next, the assembling robot receives the program number to be executed and the start signal from the cell controller to start the assembling operation. The program to be executed in response to the instruction with this program number is included in the control processor. Information necessary for operation is described using data stored in the internal memory, such as a coordinate table that stores the position of parts in the tray, the type of hand that chucks the parts, and the coordinate data that performs assembly. There is.

For example, the component supply position for picking up a component from the tray at the component supply position Ps is the position coordinate of the position where there is a component in the tray accommodating this component for each type of component accommodated. Are stored in the internal memory of the control processor of the assembly robot as a table.

When a command designating a part to be taken out by a part code arrives from the cell controller to the control processor of the part supply device and the control processor of the assembly robot, the control processor of the part supply device refers to the table and the part code of this command. Is converted into a carrier code, and then the tray carrier on which the tray containing the designated component is placed is moved to the component supply position Ps.

On the other hand, the control processor of the assembly robot is
When the notification that the tray carrier has arrived at the component supply position Ps is received from the control processor of the component supply device directly or via the cell controller, this is referred to while referring to the coordinate table storing the component position in the tray from its internal memory. Take out the parts in the tray.

That is, the removal of parts from the tray is 1
Each time it is executed, the data in the position coordinate table of that tray is shifted by one, the coordinate data of the position of the part to be taken out next is advanced, and by repeating this, parts are taken out from the tray in a predetermined order. Assemble this part to the assembly target.

The assembly object thus completed is placed on the platen on the conveyor 11 by the arm of the robot, the positioning of the platen is released by the cell controller, and then the conveyor 11 continues. Another assembling system for carrying out assembling work is carried and the next assembling work is carried out, or it is carried as a finished product to a storage location or the like.

<< Outline of Control Device of Parts Supply System >> FIG. 12 shows the overall configuration of the control system of the parts supply system of this embodiment. This control system uses one cell controller to supply parts of two systems. The device and two assembly robots are shown as controlling in parallel. It should be noted that the two-system component supply devices connected to this cell controller are connected to the same serial link according to the formula, and in order to select the component supply device to access, a transmission signal is given to these component supply devices in advance. Address is added.

When the cell controller accesses the component supply device, this address is automatically set by selecting the number of the component supply device.

The devices such as the parts supply device and the assembly robot are provided with independent control devices, and the cell controller uses the sequence controller while monitoring the operating states of these devices and other parts supply devices and other devices. It controls peripheral devices.

In other words, the operation control of equipment such as an assembly table, a parts aligner, and a conveyor which does not have its own control section is carried out by this cell controller through a serial input / output device, but each has its own control device. For the two sets of parts supply devices and assembly robots, only the overall operation flow is controlled by the operation command by the command via the serial link and the operation confirmation by the status signal.
The operation itself of each device is controlled by the control device included in each device.

The components of the component supply device of this embodiment are
As mentioned above, it can be divided into the base module, multiple stock modules, and tray changer.
These modules are connected to the control device of the component supply device and the input / output device (I / 0) of the serial transmission system of each device via a serial transmission line, and through this transmission line, operation instruction signals and status signals, etc. Will be delivered.

Each of the above-mentioned constituent elements is mechanically designed so that they can be easily separated and combined. For example, the number of stock modules changes depending on the number of kinds of parts to be supplied. In order to cope with the rearrangement, the connection of the control system between the respective constituent elements is made to be cascaded by a connector including a control signal line, a power supply line, a control power supply line and the like.

In order to facilitate the attachment / detachment of the control line between each component, all the signals to be transmitted are converted from parallel signals to serial signals within each component, and the signals are exchanged with the control device by serial transmission. The delivery is as described above. <Control device for parts supply device>

FIG. 13 is a block diagram showing the configuration of the control device of the component supply device for performing processing such as confirmation of the components accommodated in the tray using the tray code and the carrier code described with reference to FIG. .

This control device includes a processor including a main memory, a table storage device for storing a table as shown in FIGS. 4 (a) and 4 (b), and the tray provided in the component supply device. It has an input / output interface device for inputting signals including output of sensors such as code sensor St and carrier code sensor Sc, and for outputting control signals for controlling drive sources such as motors and actuators and display devices. .

If a partial area of the main memory is used as an area for storing the above-mentioned table, it is obvious that the table storage device need not be separately provided as shown in the figure.

In this figure, as indicated by the dotted line,
Although it is shown that the processing is executed in accordance with an instruction from the host corresponding to the cell controller in FIG. 12, for example, by a manually operated or automatically operated control means (not shown) connected via the input / output interface device. The parts supply device can be operated and controlled independently.

The processor of this control device is provided with a program sent together with the instruction in accordance with an instruction from the host or the control means, or an appropriate storage means shown as a program storage device as in the embodiments described later. Processing is performed according to the program stored in advance.

When these programs include the contents in which the parts to be processed are specified by the parts codes, the parts codes as shown in the flow chart of FIG. 4 (a) described above are replaced with the carrier codes. The component supply device to execute the process.

That is, when the table as shown in FIG. 4 (b) is used as this table, components such as the component supply position Ps for picking up components from the tray and the tray discharge position Po for discharging the tray are set. Code sensors similar to the carrier code sensor Sc shown in FIG. 3 are provided at the positions that need to be checked, and the outputs of these sensors are taken into the processor via the input / output interface device.

Then, by referring to the above table by the carrier code Dc obtained from the carrier mark Mc read by each sensor, the component code Dt stored corresponding to this carrier code Dc is obtained.

Also, the part code as shown in FIG.
When using a table configured to shift with a pair of Dt and carrier code Dc as a unit, as described above, by reading data at a predetermined position on the table in the table storage device of this control device, Each position Ps, Po on the circulation route corresponding to the predetermined position on the table
It is possible to easily recognize the tray carrier C and the parts housed in the tray mounted on the tray carrier.

<< Control of Assembly Work >> First, the outline of the control of the assembly work by the control system of the component supply system will be described.

As described above, the component supply device of this embodiment allows the components to be easily attached and detached because the number of stock modules changes according to the number of types of components. In order to switch the control when the number of stock modules changes, the control program is prepared in advance corresponding to all the expected stock module numbers and connection patterns, and at the beginning of the program By performing such settings and selections, the operation corresponding to the pattern of the component to be executed is performed.

The cell controller recognizes and stores the states of the assembly robot and the tray changer, and accordingly outputs operation commands to the assembly robot and the parts supply device in sequence and monitors the operation status of each component based on this command. While proceeding with the assembly work.

One basic cycle of supplying parts from the tray of the parts supply device to the assembly robot is as follows. The cell controller commands the control device of the component supply device to set the tray carrier on which the tray containing the component to be used is placed at the component supply position Ps. At this time, the part to be used is specified by the part code.

The controller of the component supply device converts the component code in the above command into a carrier code by referring to the table (FIG. 4 (b) or (c)), and mounts the tray carrier having this carrier code as a component. It is set at the supply position Ps, and when the setting is completed, a set completion signal is returned.

The control device of the component supply device indicates the type of the component accommodated in the tray set by the tray changer at the component supply position Ps in the table configured by the shift register as shown in FIG. 4 (c). It is confirmed by the correspondence between the component code and the carrier code stored at the position corresponding to the component supply position Ps. The table is shown in Fig. 4 (b).
As described above, if the component is not configured by the shift register, the type of component is confirmed based on the carrier code read by the sensor provided at the component supply position Ps.

When it is confirmed that the specified part is at this part supply position Ps, and the notification of this confirmation completion is sent to the cell controller, the cell controller specifies a program according to the work content for the assembly robot. Issue the command.

The assembling robot selects this program from the programs stored in advance, executes the process by this program, and returns a process completion signal to the cell controller when this process is completed.

The cell controller sends a signal indicating that the taking out of the parts by the assembly robot is completed, to the control device of the parts supply device.

The control device of the component supply device releases the positioning of the tray carrier in the tray changer.

Then, returning to the beginning, the next tray carrier on the circulation path, or the tray carrier on which the tray containing the components to be supplied to the assembly robot is placed in accordance with the next instruction, It shifts to the component supply position Ps. The above process is repeated according to the number of parts to be assembled, and the assembly process in this parts assembly system is completed.

<< Description of Individual Processing >> Each processing will be described below with reference to the drawings. FIG. 14 is a diagram showing a startup preparation operation of the cell controller, the component supply device, and the assembly robot when the power is turned on. When the cell controller is powered on, the cell controller turns on the component supply device and the robot. Instruct and set the state of automatic synchronous operation.

Next, the operator presses the origin return button to cause all the constituent elements to perform the origin return operation. That is, all the robot arms and cylinders are returned to a predetermined initial position, and a tray carrier, which is a tray changer, is moved to the tray mounting position Pi and then stopped.

When the components of the component supply device and the assembly robot have completed the origin return as described above, the components of the component supply device and the assembly robot respectively send home-return completion signals to the cell controller. When the home return completion signal is received from both, the home return completion is displayed and the preparation for starting is completed.

FIG. 15 is a flow chart of the parts take-out process,
FIG. 16 is a flowchart of the component attaching process, and the outline of the process of assembling the components to be assembled from the removal of the components to be assembled from the tray will be described with reference to these drawings. It should be noted that the control device of the component supply device and the control device of the assembly robot are simply referred to as the component supply device and the assembly robot, unless otherwise noted, in order to avoid complications.

When the cell controller confirms the arrival of the assembly target (work) to the assembly position of the assembly robot, the ready state for starting the peripheral equipment, etc., and the assembly conditions are satisfied, as shown in the flowchart of FIG. From the cell controller to the tray changer, an assembly start signal for instructing the start of assembly, a signal for instructing the type of part to be used by the part code, and a command signal for setting this part at the part supply position are sent to the part supply device. Sent to

The component supply device converts the component code from the cell controller into a carrier code by referring to the table, and checks whether it matches the carrier code of the tray carrier at the component supply position at present.

If the carrier code converted from the instructed component code does not match the carrier code of the tray carrier at the current component supply position, the tray changer is operated to match these carrier codes. Cyclically shift the tray carrier until

[0224] cyclic shift operation of the tray, the belt 70 1 in the first high-speed, 70 2 to drive the (FIG. 9), the belt 70 1 When the deceleration sensor (not shown) in front detects the tray carrier 62 of the component supply position, 70 decelerates the second speed, the tray carrier also actuates the mechanical brake causes further stops the driving motor 80 and the tray carrier stop position sensor (not shown) provided in the component supply position moves detects the tray carrier Stop at the parts supply position.

If the carrier code converted from the component code and the carrier code of the tray carrier at the component supply position match or if they match, the tray is positioned. When this positioning is completed, a positioning completion signal is output. The component code at the component supply position (which may be converted from the carrier code or the component code instructed on condition that they match may be returned) is answered back to the cell controller.

The tray is positioned by pressing the plunger of the cylinder 82 (FIG. 9) attached to the frame at the component supply position of the tray changer body against the tray through the hole provided on the side surface of the tray carrier 62.

The cell controller causes the system to abnormally stop if the answer-backed component code and the instructed component code do not match, but if they match, the component instructed by this component code is accommodated. The parts take-out start command that specifies the parts take-out program according to the shape of the parts in the tray and the storage position is sent to the assembly robot.

In this program, all the information necessary for the operation such as the coordinate table storing the parts positions of the parts to be used in the tray, the type of the hand to be used, the assembling position coordinates and the like are described.

In the assembly robot, the parts are taken out in accordance with this program, and after the parts are taken out, the coordinates of the coordinate table showing the position of the parts in the tray stored in the controller of the assembly robot are advanced (shifted) and then the parts are moved. The take-out completion signal is output to the cell controller, but if the position of the taken-out part is identified as not the final position of the parts accommodating position in the tray by shifting the coordinate table, the operation completion signal is immediately sent to the cell controller. Send out.

When the position of the taken-out component is the final position, a tray empty signal indicating that the tray has become empty is sent to the cell controller, and then an operation completion signal is sent to the cell controller. Send out.

Although not shown in this figure, the cell controller which has received the tray empty signal tells the controller of the component supply device to set the tray containing the same component as the component positioned at that time. Instruct to perform the process of supplying the actual tray containing the parts from the stored stock module to the tray changer.

Upon receiving the tray empty signal from the cell controller, the controller of the component supply device stores that the tray is empty in association with the carrier code of the tray carrier, and also stores the corresponding component tray. The stock module is instructed to separate one tray by the separating mechanism, and the stock module and the exit lifter are instructed to convey the separated one tray to the receiving mechanism of the tray changer.

By outputting the empty tray preparation signal one or two before the final component in the tray, it is obvious that the above-mentioned actual tray supply processing can be executed earlier. Ah

When a plurality of continuous parts are taken out from the same tray in order to use a plurality of parts of the same type continuously, the number of parts taken out is controlled by the cell controller and the set number of parts is set. The cell controller repeatedly sends an instruction to the assembly robot to execute the same program until the parts are taken out, and when the set number of parts have been taken out, a part taking out completion signal is sent to the cell controller.

Upon receipt of the above operation completion signal, the cell controller shifts to the processing shown in the flowchart of FIG. 16 and assembles the parts designating the program for instructing the assembly operation of the taken out parts to the object to be assembled. A start command is sent to the assembling robot, and the assembling robot executes the attachment of the parts to the object to be assembled according to this program.

On the other hand, the cell controller sends the above-mentioned parts assembly start command to the assembly robot and then sends a parts removal completion signal to the parts supply device, which indicates that the parts removal by the assembly robot is completed. If the tray empty signal described above has arrived from the assembly robot to the cell controller, the tray empty signal is also sent to the component supply device.

In the tray changer which has received the component take-out completion signal, the positioning of the tray at the component supply position is released and the tray carrier is cyclically shifted to move the next tray carrier to the component supply position.

At this time, if the tray empty signal has arrived from the cell controller, the information indicating that the tray at this component supply position has become empty is stored in the component supply device. The information about the empty tray is stored, for example, in the parts code stored in the position corresponding to the parts supply position in the table configured as shown in FIGS. 4 (b) and 4 (c). Alternatively, an appropriate code indicating the vacancy may be stored in association with the carrier code.

The cell controller receives from the assembling robot an operation completion signal indicating that the assembling of the components is completed, and a signal (not shown) indicating that the cyclic shift of the tray carrier from the component supplying device is completed. Then, it is determined whether or not there is another component to be assembled, and if there is a component to be assembled, the process returns to the processing routine from the point indicated by "A" in FIG. Return.

If there are no other parts to be assembled, one cycle has been completed. For example, an assembly system for carrying out the next assembly work by placing the object to be assembled on the platen 10 on the conveyor 11 and a warehouse for storing products. 1 cycle completion processing such as transfer to a predetermined place such as.

Next, the cell controller determines whether or not the stop of the component supply device is instructed. If the stop is not instructed, the cell controller returns to the start start state as shown by "B" in FIG. If the stop is instructed, a stop signal is sent to the component supply device and the assembly robot, and after confirming that the component supply device and the assembly robot have stopped, they are stopped.

When it is necessary to set the tray carrier to an empty state so that the tray is not placed, data which is predetermined as a component code to be placed on the tray carrier, for example, "0" corresponds to the tray carrier in the table. It is possible to determine whether or not the tray is the tray carrier to which the actual tray is to be supplied, by storing the component code in advance.

FIG. 17 is a tray changer for circulating the tray carrier in the tray changer, discharging an empty tray on the tray carrier, or supplying a tray containing parts to an empty tray carrier. 10 is a flowchart showing the tray circulation / exchange processing of FIG. 9, which will be described with reference to the diagram of the tray changer of FIG. 9.

In order to circulate the tray carrier, first, the brake of the motor 80 is released, and then the motor 80 is driven at high speed, and when it is detected by a sensor (not shown) that one of the tray carriers has reached the deceleration point. In response to the rotation of the motor 80, the drive is switched to the low speed drive.

Next, when the tray carrier reaches the stop point, the motor 80 is stopped instantaneously and the brake of the motor is operated to stop the circulation of the tray carrier. In this embodiment, three tray carriers 62 1,
62 2 and 62 4 stop at the tray mounting position Pi, the component supply position Ps, and the tray discharge position Po, respectively, and the remaining one tray carrier 62 3 is a tray changer 62 as shown in FIG.
Stops below 2 .

When the tray carrier is stopped in this way, if the tray at the tray discharge position Po is in an empty state, empty tray discharge processing, which will be described later with reference to FIG. 18, is performed, and the tray at the tray loading position Pi is also processed. When the tray is placed on the carrier, the actual tray supply process described later with reference to FIG. 19 is performed.

When it is necessary to set the tray carrier to an empty state in which the tray is not placed, predetermined data as a part code to be placed on the tray carrier, for example, "0" is associated with this tray carrier in the table. The part code can be stored in advance.

By doing so, the tray loading position Pi
Not only can this table be used to immediately determine whether or not to perform the process of loading the tray on the tray carrier, but also when the trays are circulated after the parts are removed, the actual tray supply and empty trays can be used. As long as the tray carrier set to this empty position does not reach the component supply position, the tray carrier is skipped so that the next tray carrier is set to the component supply position. As a result, the processing speed can be improved.

Incidentally, when it is not necessary to discharge the empty tray or supply the actual tray as described above, it is natural that these processes are not performed, and the empty tray discharge process and the actual tray are not performed. When both supply processes are required, these processes can be performed in parallel.

Then, it is checked by the assembling robot whether the tray carrier 62 2 at the parts supply position Ps has a tray from which the parts should be taken out. The stopped state is maintained, but if there is no required tray, the above circulation operation is repeated.

Whether or not the tray at the component supply position Ps accommodates the required components, if the table is constituted by the shift register, as described with reference to FIG. It can be checked using the information about the component code and carrier code in the storage position of the table corresponding to the position Ps.

FIG. 18 is a flowchart showing the empty tray discharge processing described above with reference to FIG. 17, and will be described with reference to FIG. 9 showing the configuration of the tray changer. First, it is checked using the information stored in the memory whether or not the tray carrier that has arrived at the tray discharge position Po is an empty tray placed. This check is performed on the table as described above. This can be performed by the information indicating the empty space of the tray stored corresponding to the component code and the carrier code.

When the table is composed of shift registers, as described with reference to FIG. 4 (c),
From the tray empty information corresponding to the component code and the carrier code in the storage position of the table corresponding to the tray discharge position Po, it is possible to obtain information as to whether or not the tray at the tray discharge position is empty.

As a result of the above-mentioned check, when it is judged that the tray placed on the tray carrier at the discharge position Po is empty, the drive motor 88 rotates the tray discharge belt 85, and the belt 85 is rotated. The push piece 84 fixed to the top of the tray carrier 62 rises up through a notch formed in the bottom surface of the tray carrier 62 and continues to move while pushing the empty tray from behind, and the empty tray stops on the roller conveyor 89. Move until you hit 90.

When the completion of the movement is detected by a sensor (not shown), the drive motor 88 is reversely rotated to return the pusher 84 to the original position shown in the figure, and then the motor 8 is moved.
8 and the roller conveyor 89 are stopped.

Then, as described above, the tray empty information indicating that the tray of the table stored in the memory is empty is cleared, and the empty tray discharging process is ended. In order to indicate that no tray is loaded on this tray carrier, information indicating that no tray is loaded is written instead of clearing this empty information, or this empty space is cleared. The component code stored in association with the carrier code corresponding to the information may be cleared at the same time.

FIG. 19 is a flow chart showing a process of placing a tray (actual tray) accommodating components on the tray carrier at the tray placing position Pi, and showing a placing process of the actual tray on the tray carrier. Description will be given with reference to the diagram of the tray changer.

When the tray carrier arrives at the tray loading position Pi, it is determined whether or not the tray carrier is loaded, indicating that the tray stored in the memory is not loaded. The controller makes a decision based on the information.

As a result of this judgment, if the tray is placed on the tray carrier, the process directly returns, but if the tray is not placed, it is determined whether or not the program instructs the tray carrier to place the tray. If it is checked and it is instructed not to load the tray, the process immediately returns, but if it is instructed to load the tray, the process proceeds to the next step.

In this step, it is checked whether or not there is a tray in the tray receiving mechanism including the roller conveyor 60 of the tray changer, and if there is no tray, it waits until the tray is transferred from the stock module.

This receiving mechanism has a tray, or
If the tray arrives from the stock module, the sensor 6
The part code displayed on this tray that was read in step 8 is checked against the part code set on this tray carrier. If they do not match, abnormal stop is performed. If they match, the tray is placed on the tray carrier. To start.

That is, the opening / closing door 6 of the tray carrier 62
3 is opened by the plunger 64 (FIG. 10 (b)), the stopper 61 of the receiving mechanism is lowered and the pushing claw 65 is raised, and then the pushing claw 65 is moved forward by the carry-in cylinder 66, and the tray is pushed by the pushing claw. It is extruded by 65 and placed on the tray carrier 62.

When the tray is placed on the tray carrier 62, the opening / closing door 63 is restored by the action of the spring to secure the tray on the tray carrier. Then, the stopper 61 of the receiving mechanism is raised to prevent the next tray from entering the tray mounting position, and then the transfer cylinder 66 is returned to the fixed position shown in the drawing and the pushing claw 65 is lowered to lower the tray tray carrier. Complete the tray loading process.

FIG. 20 is a flow chart showing the process of receiving the tray group (actual tray group) accommodating the parts of the inlet lifter 2 shown in FIG. 6 and transferring the empty tray group. The description will be given with reference to FIG. 6 shown, FIG. 7 showing the stock module, and FIG. 11 showing the base module. The initial position of the entrance lifter 2 is assumed to be, for example, a height position for receiving a real tray group carried by an unmanned vehicle, for example, a height position of the stock module 8 3 (Fig. 2).

When an actual tray group is placed on the entrance lifter,
The tray code (part code) displayed on the bottom of the tray at the bottom of this tray group is read by the sensor 20 1 and stored in one of the stock modules 8 1, 8 2, 8 3 It is checked whether or not there is a tray group containing parts that are not stored in these stock modules, and it abnormally stops.

If it is a tray group accommodating parts to be stored in any of these stock modules 8 1, 8 2, 8 3 , the stock module in which this tray group should be stored is determined, and this stock module Check if there is a stock space to store this tray group in.

If there is no stock space in the determined stock module, the inlet lifter waits with this tray group being placed, but when the stock module has a stock space, it is required to supply the actual tray group. As a result, it does not actually occur in this state.

Then, the inlet lifter 2 is in the same position if the above-mentioned determined stock module is the stock module 8 3 and , if the determined stock module is the stock module 8 1 or 8 2 , the stock module Stopper 1 after moving to the position
6, the belt conveyor 15 and the roller conveyor 23 of the stock module 8 are driven to transfer the tray group toward the stock module 8.

When a sensor (not shown) detects that this tray group has arrived at the stopper 24 provided at the end portion of the roller conveyor 23 of the stock module 8, the stopper 16 of the inlet lifter 2 is raised and the belt conveyor is moved. 15 and the belt conveyor 23 of the stock module are stopped to stock the tray group on the roller conveyor 23 of the stock module 8, and then the inlet lifter 2 is set to the initial position corresponding to the height position for receiving the tray group as described above. Move and stop.

On the other hand, when the height of the empty tray group stacked on the stacking mechanism of the base module 7 exceeds the predetermined height and becomes full, as shown in the flow on the right side of FIG. In addition, the inlet lifter 2 performs a process of transporting the empty tray group from the base module to a stock module that carries the empty tray group to the outside, for example, the stock module 8 3 .

When the empty tray becomes full, the entrance lifter 2
Is lowered to the inlet lifter space 7 1 of the base module 7, and the stopper 45 of the base module 7
Then, the stopper 16 of the inlet lifter 2 is lowered and retracted.

Next, the roller conveyor 44 of the base module 7 is driven, and at the same time, the belt conveyor 15 of the base module 7 is reversely driven so that the empty tray group on the roller conveyor 44 of the base module 7 becomes a stopper of the base module. The empty tray group is moved and placed on this entrance lifter until it abuts on 46.

Thereafter, the stopper 16 of the inlet lifter and the stopper 45 of the base module are raised, and the belt conveyor 15 of the inlet lifter and the roller conveyor 44 of the base module are stopped, and the inlet lifter 2
Moves to the position of the stock module 8 3 that carries out the empty tray group to the outside with the empty tray group placed, that is, the initial position, and waits for the empty tray group to be transferred to the outside.

FIG. 21 shows the process of separating one tray from the tray group stored in the stock module 8 and transferring it to the outlet lifter in order to send the actual tray to the tray changer. This will be described with reference to FIG.

First, is there a single separated tray, that is, a tray that has been fed to the tray changer for all the trays at the top of the tray group and below that tray, is on the belt conveyor 25 of the separating mechanism? If there is only one tray on this belt conveyor 25, it is directly transferred to the exit lifter, but if there is a tray group on the belt conveyor 25 in which a plurality of actual trays are stacked. Is separated.

In this separating operation, after the separating claw 26 is opened, the separating claw 26 is lowered to the lowermost stage, and then it is checked whether or not there is a tray group on the belt conveyor 25 of the separating mechanism. Wait for trays to be supplied from the entrance lifter.

When the tray group exists on the belt conveyor 25 or is supplied by the inlet lifter, the separating claw 26 is higher than the height corresponding to one tray, and when the trays are stacked in two stages. A height lower than the lower edge of the flange of the second tray, for example, if this tray group consists of S trays, a height in the range of 45 mm to 75 mm as shown in FIG. 5 (b), In the case of a tray group consisting of L trays, the height is raised from 125 mm to 235 mm, and the separation claw 26 is closed.

When the separating claws 26 are closed and the lift is continued from the upper surface of the belt conveyor 25 to the height of at least one tray, the separating claws 26 are formed on the flange of the second tray from the bottom in the tray group. Are engaged with each other to lift the tray above the second stage, so that only the lowermost tray is left on the belt conveyor 25, and the separation of the trays is completed. Transfer to the exit lifter takes place as above.

The transfer of the tray to the exit lifter is performed by waiting for the exit lifter 6 to move to the position of the stock module that has completed the separating operation, and then wait for the stock conveyor belt conveyor 25 and the exit lifter 6 belt conveyor 4 to move.
This is done by driving 7 and.

FIG. 22 shows a tray receiving mechanism for receiving trays from the stock module 8 in the exit lifter 6 shown in FIG. 8 and transferring the trays to the tray receiving mechanism of the tray changer, that is, trays to the tray changer. It is a flowchart which shows a transfer process.

When the cell controller requests the tray changer to supply the actual tray containing the parts, the outlet lifter moves to the position of the stock module 8 storing the parts to be supplied. Wait for one tray to be separated by the process described.

When only one tray is on the belt conveyor 25 of the stock module separation mechanism,
When the conveyor 47 of the exit lifter is moved to the pressing position where it is pressed against the tray, and the belt conveyor 25 and the belt conveyor 47 of the exit lifter 6 are driven, the tray extruded from the stock module 8 becomes the conveyor 4.
7 are moved while being guided by a pair of support claws 56 provided respectively, and are gripped by the support claws 56.

Next, after confirming that there is no tray in the tray changer receiving mechanism, the outlet lifter 6 holding this tray is attached to the roller conveyor 60 (FIGS. 4 and 9) provided on the upper surface of the tray changer 4. The tray is transferred onto the roller conveyor 60 of the tray changer 4 by lowering to a height close to each other and opening the pair of support claws 56 by the cylinder 54.

After that, the exit lifter 6 moves to the position of the uppermost stock module in the initial state, controls the cylinder 54, and returns the supporting claw 56 to the pressing position for pressing the tray, and the processing is completed.

FIG. 23 is a flow chart showing stacking and discharging of empty trays in the base module shown in FIG. 11. This processing is performed when empty trays are discharged from the tray changer.

When the empty tray is discharged from the tray changer, the belt conveyor 34 is driven to receive the empty tray in the stacking mechanism of the base module, and the claw is placed at a height position where it does not interfere with the empty tray to be stacked. The claw 35 that has been waiting in the open state is lowered to a position where the sensor provided in the moving means of the claw 35 detects this empty tray.

If the heights of the trays are stored in addition to the component codes corresponding to the carrier codes in the tables shown in FIGS. 4B and 4C, the trays ejected from the tray changer will be stored. The height can be known in advance as described above.

Upon reaching this lowered position, the rotary actuator 39 is activated to move the pawl 35 to the open position, so that the empty tray already stacked on the newly loaded empty tray and held by the pawl 35. Tray (group) is unloaded and stacked on this empty tray.

After that, the claw 35 is lowered to the lowermost position where the height of the upper surface of the claw 35 is lower than the flange of the thinnest tray while the claw 35 is retracted, and then the rotary actuator 39 is activated to activate the claw 35. To the closed position, and by raising this pawl 35 in this state, the pawl 35 is attached to the lower part of the flange of the tray newly loaded.
Hang up.

As described above, when the empty tray group lifted by the claws 35 is lowered onto the newly loaded empty tray and the stacking upper limit switch (not shown) does not detect the tray, the maximum height is set. Even if the L tray which it has is transferred from the tray changer next, the claw 35 is raised to a height at which it does not interfere, and the processing is completed.

However, when the stacking upper limit switch detects the tray, the claw 35 is moved to the lowermost stage to open the claw 35 and the stopper 36 is lowered.
By driving the belt conveyor 34, this empty tray group is moved from this conveyor 34 to the next roller conveyor 4
4 and the empty tray group is stocked on the conveyor 44.

If it is acceptable to discharge the empty tray group to the outside of the component supply device while keeping the height of the roller conveyor 44 of the base module, this roller conveyor 44
May be extended to near the right end of the base module. In this embodiment, the empty tray is discharged to the outside of the component supply device, and the stock module 8 at the lowermost stage is used.
From the tray loading position of 1 (FIG. 2), for example, an actual tray is mounted on an unmanned vehicle which is to be transferred and transferred, so that this empty tray group needs to be transferred to this stock module 8 1 .

Therefore, the empty tray group stocked on the roller conveyor 44 is pushed by the succeeding empty tray group pushed out from the stacking mechanism and moved to the position where it hits the stopper 45, and this empty tray group is detected. When detected by 45 1 , the cell controller directs the component feeder to move the inlet lifter to the position of this base module.

When the entrance lifter arrives at this base module according to this instruction, the stopper 45 is lowered and the roller conveyor 44 and the belt conveyor 15 of the entrance lifter 2 are simultaneously driven to move the empty tray group onto the entrance lifter 2. Transfer. At this time, it goes without saying that the stopper 16 of the inlet lifter should not interfere with this transfer.

After that, the stopper 45 of the base module
Is raised so that the next empty tray group does not enter the entrance lifter space of this base module, and this processing ends.

In the tray changer to which the present invention is applied, in order to promptly supply the required parts to the assembly robot according to the order used by the assembly robot for assembly, the tray carrier is circulated according to the circulation path. It is desirable to shorten the tact time by selecting the order of placing the trays on the tray carrier so that the trays containing the required components are arranged.

[0297]

According to the present invention, the tray for supplying the parts to the robot circulates on the circulation path including the supply position of the parts by the circulation mechanism, so that the parts are successively supplied to the assembly robot. Since it can be achieved only by shifting in one direction, it is not necessary to change the drive control method of the circulation mechanism even if the type of parts to be supplied changes, so the processing time associated with the change of parts to be supplied is significantly reduced. The effect of being able to do is obtained.

Since a path for supplying a new tray and a path for discharging an empty tray can be set as separate paths in this circulation path, the new tray for supply and the empty tray for discharge do not intersect. In addition to simplifying the configuration, the time required for replacing the tray can be shortened.

Further, by providing a plurality of tray carriers that move simultaneously in the circulation mechanism and making a structure in which the plurality of tray carriers circulate and move sequentially through the component supply positions, the assembling robot has its own trays. Different components can be sequentially supplied from the trays mounted on the carrier, and the waiting time of the assembly robot when using a plurality of types of components can be significantly shortened.

Further, when a plurality of tray carriers that move simultaneously are provided in this circulation mechanism, when one tray carrier is at the tray loading position, another tray carrier is at the component supply position and / or the tray discharge position. If it is positioned, the tray can be placed, the assembly robot can take out the parts, and the empty tray and the unnecessary tray can be discharged at the same time, so that the time required for these processes can be substantially reduced. Can be significantly shortened.

[Brief description of drawings]

FIG. 1 is a diagram showing the principle of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a diagram conceptually showing an embodiment of a component supply device to which the present invention is applied.

FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating the use of tray marks and carrier marks.

FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a component code replacement process.

FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a tray used in an example.

FIG. 6 is a conceptual diagram showing an embodiment of an inlet lifter.

FIG. 7 is a conceptual diagram showing an example of a stock module.

FIG. 8 is a conceptual diagram showing an embodiment of an outlet lifter.

FIG. 9 is a conceptual diagram showing an embodiment of a tray changer.

FIG. 10 is a diagram showing a main part of a tray changer.

FIG. 11 is a conceptual diagram showing an example of a base module.

FIG. 12 is a conceptual diagram of an example of a control system of the component supply system.

FIG. 13 is a block diagram showing a configuration of an embodiment of a controller of the component supply device.

FIG. 14 is a flowchart showing a boot preparation.

FIG. 15 is a flowchart showing a component take-out process.

FIG. 16 is a flowchart showing a component assembling process.

FIG. 17 is a flowchart showing tray carrier circulation / tray exchange processing of the tray changer.

FIG. 18 is a flowchart showing an empty tray discharging process.

FIG. 19 is a flow chart showing a supply process of a tray accommodating components to a tray carrier.

FIG. 20 is a flowchart showing a tray group receiving process for storing parts of the inlet lifter and a transfer process of an empty tray group.

FIG. 21 is a flow chart showing the processing of the separating mechanism of the stock module.

FIG. 22 is a flowchart showing a transfer process of the exit lifter to the tray changer.

FIG. 23 is a flowchart showing stacking / discharging processing of empty trays of the base module.

FIG. 24 is a conceptual diagram showing an example of a conventional component supply device.

[Explanation of symbols]

 S storage unit H transport means TC circulation mechanism / tray changer C tray carrier L circulation path Pi tray mounting position Ps component supply position Po tray discharge position Pw standby position J discharge means t tray ti tray (supplied tray) to tray ( Tray discharged) R Assembly robot Ra Robot arm W Assembly target

 ─────────────────────────────────────────────────── ─── Continuation of the front page (72) Inventor Akira Kamimura 1-3-6 Nakamagome, Ota-ku, Tokyo Inside Ricoh Co., Ltd.

Claims (3)

[Claims]
1. A storage unit for storing a tray containing components, a transport unit for transporting the tray from the storage unit, a tray mounting position for receiving the tray transported by the transport unit, and a tray A circulation mechanism for circulatingly moving the tray carrier on which the tray is mounted is provided through a circulation path including at least a component supply position where the assembly robot can take out the accommodated components and a tray discharge position where the tray is discharged. A component supply device characterized by the above.
2. The circulation mechanism includes a plurality of tray carriers that move simultaneously, and the plurality of tray carriers circulate through at least the tray mounting position, the component supply position, and the tray discharge position in sequence. The component supply device according to claim 1, wherein the component supply device moves.
3. The circulation mechanism having a plurality of tray carriers is arranged such that, when one tray carrier is in the tray mounting position, another tray carrier is positioned at least at the component supply position and the tray discharge position. 3. The component supply device according to claim 2, wherein the tray carriers are provided at fixed intervals to each other.
JP28662494A 1993-12-28 1994-11-21 Parts supply device Expired - Fee Related JP3344850B2 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP5-351416 1993-12-28
JP35141693 1993-12-28
JP28662494A JP3344850B2 (en) 1993-12-28 1994-11-21 Parts supply device

Applications Claiming Priority (4)

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JP28662494A JP3344850B2 (en) 1993-12-28 1994-11-21 Parts supply device
US08/733,195 US5692867A (en) 1993-12-28 1996-10-17 Parts supply system
US08/898,200 US5930144A (en) 1993-12-28 1997-07-22 Parts supply system
US09/335,520 US6275743B1 (en) 1993-12-28 1999-06-18 Parts supply system

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JPH07232828A true JPH07232828A (en) 1995-09-05
JP3344850B2 JP3344850B2 (en) 2002-11-18

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US5930144A (en) 1999-07-27
US6275743B1 (en) 2001-08-14
JP3344850B2 (en) 2002-11-18
US5692867A (en) 1997-12-02

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